A Git repository comes in two different flavours:
· a .git directory at the root of the working tree;
· a <project>.git directory that is a bare repository (i.e. without
its own working tree), that is typically used for exchanging
histories with others by pushing into it and fetching from it.
Note: Also you can have a plain text file .git at the root of your
working tree, containing gitdir: <path> to point at the real
directory that has the repository. This mechanism is often used for a
working tree of a submodule checkout, to allow you in the containing
superproject to git checkout a branch that does not have the
submodule. The checkout has to remove the entire submodule working
tree, without losing the submodule repository.
These things may exist in a Git repository.
Object store associated with this repository. Usually an object
store is self sufficient (i.e. all the objects that are referred
to by an object found in it are also found in it), but there are
a few ways to violate it.
1. You could have an incomplete but locally usable repository by
creating a shallow clone. See git-clone(1).
2. You could be using the objects/info/alternates or
$GIT_ALTERNATE_OBJECT_DIRECTORIES mechanisms to borrow
objects from other object stores. A repository with this kind
of incomplete object store is not suitable to be published
for use with dumb transports but otherwise is OK as long as
objects/info/alternates points at the object stores it
This directory is ignored if $GIT_COMMON_DIR is set and
"$GIT_COMMON_DIR/objects" will be used instead.
A newly created object is stored in its own file. The objects are
splayed over 256 subdirectories using the first two characters of
the sha1 object name to keep the number of directory entries in
objects itself to a manageable number. Objects found here are
often called unpacked (or loose) objects.
Packs (files that store many object in compressed form, along
with index files to allow them to be randomly accessed) are found
in this directory.
Additional information about the object store is recorded in this
This file is to help dumb transports discover what packs are
available in this object store. Whenever a pack is added or
removed, git update-server-info should be run to keep this file
up-to-date if the repository is published for dumb transports.
git repack does this by default.
This file records paths to alternate object stores that this
object store borrows objects from, one pathname per line. Note
that not only native Git tools use it locally, but the HTTP
fetcher also tries to use it remotely; this will usually work if
you have relative paths (relative to the object database, not to
the repository!) in your alternates file, but it will not work if
you use absolute paths unless the absolute path in filesystem and
web URL is the same. See also objects/info/http-alternates.
This file records URLs to alternate object stores that this
object store borrows objects from, to be used when the repository
is fetched over HTTP.
References are stored in subdirectories of this directory. The
git prune command knows to preserve objects reachable from refs
found in this directory and its subdirectories. This directory is
ignored if $GIT_COMMON_DIR is set and "$GIT_COMMON_DIR/refs" will
be used instead.
records tip-of-the-tree commit objects of branch name
records any object name (not necessarily a commit object, or a
tag object that points at a commit object).
records tip-of-the-tree commit objects of branches copied from a
records the SHA-1 of the object that replaces <obj-sha1>. This is
similar to info/grafts and is internally used and maintained by
git-replace(1). Such refs can be exchanged between repositories
while grafts are not.
records the same information as refs/heads/, refs/tags/, and
friends record in a more efficient way. See git-pack-refs(1).
This file is ignored if $GIT_COMMON_DIR is set and
"$GIT_COMMON_DIR/packed-refs" will be used instead.
A symref (see glossary) to the refs/heads/ namespace describing
the currently active branch. It does not mean much if the
repository is not associated with any working tree (i.e. a bare
repository), but a valid Git repository must have the HEAD file;
some porcelains may use it to guess the designated "default"
branch of the repository (usually master). It is legal if the
named branch name does not (yet) exist. In some legacy setups, it
is a symbolic link instead of a symref that points at the current
HEAD can also record a specific commit directly, instead of being
a symref to point at the current branch. Such a state is often
called detached HEAD. See git-checkout(1) for details.
Repository specific configuration file. This file is ignored if
$GIT_COMMON_DIR is set and "$GIT_COMMON_DIR/config" will be used
A slightly deprecated way to store shorthands to be used to
specify a URL to git fetch, git pull and git push. A file can be
stored as branches/<name> and then name can be given to these
commands in place of repository argument. See the REMOTES section
in git-fetch(1) for details. This mechanism is legacy and not
likely to be found in modern repositories. This directory is
ignored if $GIT_COMMON_DIR is set and "$GIT_COMMON_DIR/branches"
will be used instead.
Hooks are customization scripts used by various Git commands. A
handful of sample hooks are installed when git init is run, but
all of them are disabled by default. To enable, the .sample
suffix has to be removed from the filename by renaming. Read
githooks(5) for more details about each hook. This directory is
ignored if $GIT_COMMON_DIR is set and "$GIT_COMMON_DIR/hooks"
will be used instead.
The current index file for the repository. It is usually not
found in a bare repository.
The shared index part, to be referenced by $GIT_DIR/index and
other temporary index files. Only valid in split index mode.
Additional information about the repository is recorded in this
directory. This directory is ignored if $GIT_COMMON_DIR is set
and "$GIT_COMMON_DIR/info" will be used instead.
This file helps dumb transports discover what refs are available
in this repository. If the repository is published for dumb
transports, this file should be regenerated by gitupdate-server-info every time a tag or branch is created or
modified. This is normally done from the hooks/update hook, which
is run by the git-receive-pack command when you git push into the
This file records fake commit ancestry information, to pretend
the set of parents a commit has is different from how the commit
was actually created. One record per line describes a commit and
its fake parents by listing their 40-byte hexadecimal object
names separated by a space and terminated by a newline.
Note that the grafts mechanism is outdated and can lead to
problems transferring objects between repositories; see
git-replace(1) for a more flexible and robust system to do the
This file, by convention among Porcelains, stores the exclude
pattern list. .gitignore is the per-directory ignore file. gitstatus, git add, git rm and git clean look at it but the core Git
commands do not look at it. See also: gitignore(5).
This file stores sparse checkout patterns. See also:
Stores shorthands for URL and default refnames for use when
interacting with remote repositories via git fetch, git pull and
git push commands. See the REMOTES section in git-fetch(1) for
details. This mechanism is legacy and not likely to be found in
modern repositories. This directory is ignored if $GIT_COMMON_DIR
is set and "$GIT_COMMON_DIR/remotes" will be used instead.
Records of changes made to refs are stored in this directory. See
git-update-ref(1) for more information. This directory is ignored
if $GIT_COMMON_DIR is set and "$GIT_COMMON_DIR/logs" will be used
Records all changes made to the branch tip named name.
Records all changes made to the tag named name.
This is similar to info/grafts but is internally used and
maintained by shallow clone mechanism. See --depth option to
git-clone(1) and git-fetch(1). This file is ignored if
$GIT_COMMON_DIR is set and "$GIT_COMMON_DIR/shallow" will be used
If this file exists, $GIT_COMMON_DIR (see git(1)) will be set to
the path specified in this file if it is not explicitly set. If
the specified path is relative, it is relative to $GIT_DIR. The
repository with commondir is incomplete without the repository
pointed by "commondir".
Contains the git-repositories of the submodules.
Contains administrative data for linked working trees. Each
subdirectory contains the working tree-related part of a linked
working tree. This directory is ignored if $GIT_COMMON_DIR is
set, in which case "$GIT_COMMON_DIR/worktrees" will be used
A text file containing the absolute path back to the .git file
that points to here. This is used to check if the linked
repository has been manually removed and there is no need to keep
this directory any more. The mtime of this file should be updated
every time the linked repository is accessed.
If this file exists, the linked working tree may be on a portable
device and not available. The presence of this file prevents
worktrees/<id> from being pruned either automatically or manually
by git worktree prune. The file may contain a string explaining
why the repository is locked.
If this file exists, it is a hard link to the linked .git file.
It is used to detect if the linked repository is manually
This page is part of the git (Git distributed version control system)
project. Information about the project can be found at
⟨http://git-scm.com/⟩. If you have a bug report for this manual page,
see ⟨http://git-scm.com/community⟩. This page was obtained from the
project's upstream Git repository ⟨https://github.com/git/git.git⟩ on
2017-03-13. If you discover any rendering problems in this HTML ver‐
sion of the page, or you believe there is a better or more up-to-date
source for the page, or you have corrections or improvements to the
information in this COLOPHON (which is not part of the original man‐
ual page), send a mail to email@example.com
Git 2.12.0.rc2 02/18/2017 GITREPOSITORY-LAYOU(5)